"Jonathan Stafford" tag
Gretchen Smith and Indiana Woodward in Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala: Bright, Bartók Ballet, Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 – New York

★★★✰✰   In Bartók Ballet, which coexists but does not comment on the music, the dancers explore a huge range of steps and quotations…

Sara Mearns in Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, Oltremare, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   There is a palpable sense of hope among the dancers; again and again, they rise to the occasion. The opening-night program reflected this resilience and gave reason for hope.

Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia in Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine, Robbins & Reisen quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   Opus 19 feels at once nostalgic, mysterious and dreamy…

New York City Ballet in Liebeslieder Walzer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Prodigal Son, Liebeslieder Walzer – New York

★★★✰✰   Liebeslieder Walzer is one of the most precious of all Balanchine’s ballets; within its fifty-minute span it seems to contain a world of emotion, both profound and infinitely civilized.

New York City Ballet in Symphony in C.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Jewels & All Balanchine 4bill – New York

★★★★✰ The company seemed to be dancing with a special ferocity, as if to prove its worth and convince the world that this enterprise is, indeed, worth preserving and saving.

Ask la Cour in The Four Temperaments.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Agon, The Four Temperaments – New York

★★✰✰✰   Last week, on Thursday night, with the exception of The Four Temperaments, the company’s thoughts appeared to be elsewhere…

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Tiler Peck and Ashly Isaacs in George Balanchine’s Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine No. 1 & 2, 21st Century Choreographers bills – New York

★★★★✰   After much tumult over the holidays, New York City Ballet has begun its first post-Peter Martins season. If you’re just catching up, the company’s “ballet master in chief” – ie artistic director – of over thirty years retired on New Years Day, in the midst of an investigation into allegations of physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Megan Fairchild and Taylor Stanley in Peter Martins' Jeu de Cartes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Tradition and Innovation & Just for Fun bills – New York

Jeu de Cartes, by Peter Martins, is jaunty and busy, a cross between the pas de deux in Balanchine’s Rubies, the trios in Danses Concertantes, and the non-stop action of Martins’ Fearful Symmetries….

Megan Fairchild and Chase Finlay in George Balanchine's Duo Concertant.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Black and White program – New York

I’ve noticed two troubling trends this season at New York City Ballet. Perhaps they are connected. The first is the creeping tendency toward stolid tempi from the pit…

Ashley Bouder in Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Kammermusik No. 2, Firebird, Symphony in C – Saratoga Springs

After the dreary bombast of Alexei Ratmansky’s recent Firebird for American Ballet Theatre, the Balanchine/Robbins version, with its blessedly shorter score (Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite), heavenly Chagall designs and the great Ashley Bouder in one of her first great roles, was a welcome palliative.

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